Invest in Yourself: The 20 Best Ways to Improve Your IT Skills
Friend of Brightwing, IT in the D (Detroit for those not familiar), runs one of the best and largest networking groups in the Metro Detroit Area, blog and internet radio show of the same namesake. Recently, a blog was written explaining their frustrations with net-workers who accept job rejection instead of taking the initiative to learn a new IT skill or code language. There are so many ways to gain new IT or technical skills, but you have to be proactive. Here are the best coding resources that we’ve found, many of which are at little to no cost. When you’re ready, get to it! Your next opportunity may be closer than you think.
1.Girl Develop IT– There are branches in many large cities, and the classes are reasonable or even FREE (Isn’t it a magical word?). I will be taking my intro to HTML & CSS class with these chicks. They rock. While it is Girl Develop IT, they do not discriminate. Men can sign up too.
2.Hackbright Academy– For West Coasters this is a great resource for women looking to learn code and become software engineers.
3.Girls Who Code– Another great resource looking to teach women to code! Their mission says it all, “Girls Who Code programs work to inspire, educate, and equip girls with the computing skills to pursue 21st century opportunities.”
4.Grand Circus Co– This Detroit based group offers classes with the mission to elevate the tech community. If you are in the Detroit area and are able to check it out, you should. They are doing some amazing things.
6.OHours– This site allows for you to have office hours with professionals who want to share their skills. Are you building an app, and have some serious questions about all aspects from development to launch? Find someone to talk to!
7.Code School– This site allows you to learn GIT, BACKBONE.JS, SASS, Rails and JQuery. For a small monthly fee all this can be yours.
8.Treehouse– This interactive learning site allows you to learn web design, web development, iOS development, Android development, and WordPress. The basic subscription is $25/ month, Pro $49/ month.
9.Processing– Since 2001, Processing has been a programming language, development environment, and online community.
10.Meetups– Meetup is a great site that allows groups with similar interests to “Meet Up.” Many of these groupd are user groups, learning and teaching. Check it out, there will certainly be a group that can connect you to your end goal!
13.MIT Open Courseware-“The idea is simple: to publish all of our course materials online and make them widely available to everyone.” Dick K.P. Yue, Professor, MIT School of Engineering. Don’t you want to be able to say “How bout dem apples” at the end of a course? Act like Will Hunting and consume all of the information you can.
14.Udacity– The mission speaks for itself: “Our mission is to bring accessible, affordable, engaging, and highly effective higher education to the world. We believe that higher education is a basic human right, and we seek to empower our students to advance their education and careers.”
17.Coursera– Coursera’s mission is to “Partner with top universities and organizations worldwide, to offer courses online for anyone to take, for free.”
18.Khan Academy– On Khan Academy you can learn much more than programming (I’ve listened to a history class from time to time), but intro to programming and more specific courses are readily available for your viewing and listening pleasure.
19.Learn Python The Hard Way– Like its namesake, this site makes you learn Python the hard way. It forces you to actually learn how to write, and not copy pre-existing code. Go hard or go home right?
20.HTML5 Rocks– A product of Google, this site is all HTML5 all the time
Did I scare you? Check out any or all of these sites, groups, and forums at your own pace, but do check them out. You are much better off trying something out and learning from a setback, than not trying at all.